Fort Union (2)

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Fort Union (2) (1829-1867) - Established by Kenneth McKenzie in 1829 as Fort Floyd, an American Fur Company fur trading post in present day Williams County, North Dakota. Later became known as Fort Union. Later occupied by U.S. Army troops and eventually bought by the Federal Government, abandoned and scrapped in 1867.

Fort Union Southwest Bastion
Fort Union Northeast Bastion
Fort Union Bourgeois House

Fort Union History

Fort Union Entrance, Trade Window on Left
Fort Union Trade Room Interior

Established in 1829 by Kenneth McKenzie as an American Fur Company fur trading post and became the center of the fur trade in the area. The post attracted numerous competitors at a site about two miles down river that eventually became the site of Fort Buford. The American Fur Company absorbed the competitor posts (Fort William (6), Fort Mortimer and Fort William (7)).

Fort Union was built with an 18' high log palisade with stone bastions on the Southwest and the Northwest corners. The palisade was 220' by 240' and enclosed the trading buildings and the Bourgeois House. The Bourgeois House was the home of the chief trader and the chief clerk. The trading buildings housed the trade goods and the furs they were traded for. The trade business was conducted in the trade house and often through a trade window cut through the palisade by the entrance. The furs and buffalo robes were compressed into compact bundles for transport back east.

Fort Union remained a thriving trade center until smallpox swept through the local tribes. Expansion from the east increased pressure on the tribes, leading to several outbreaks of hostility. Despite the construction of U.S. Army Fort Buford down river from Fort Union, maintaining safety in the area became impractical. The coming of the Civil War shifted attention from the West and Fort Union fell into disuse. It was abandoned finally and scrapped in 1867. Its lumber was used to complete Fort Buford.

Current Status

Must See! Part of the Fort Union National Historic Site, Williams County, North Dakota. The Fort Union trading post is a partial reconstruction of the original trading post built on the foundation of the original.

Location: Fort Union National Historic Site, Williams County, North Dakota.

Maps & Images

Lat: 47.999298 Long: -104.040592



Visited: 22 Sep 2013

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